Lecturers strike in rogue colleges

Submitted by Anon on 6 March, 2004 - 8:05

Members of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) staged a 24-hour strike on Thursday 26 February in seven Further Education Colleges. The strike had been triggered by the failure of management in those colleges to implement a nationally agreed pay deal.
Members of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) staged a 24-hour strike on Thursday 26 February in seven Further Education Colleges. The strike had been triggered by the failure of management in those colleges to implement a nationally agreed pay deal.

Agreement on a two-year pay deal was reached between NATFHE (and AUT and Unison) and the national employers' body, the Association of Colleges, last October. The deal included a 3% pay rise from August of 2003, plus a payment of 0.5% backdated to April of 2003.

A minority of colleges did not implement the deal. Members in 11 colleges voted for strike action on the issue.

Management at two colleges responded to the ballot result by agreeing to implement the pay deal. Strike action at two other colleges was suspended after a commitment by management to implement the pay deal by April. The other seven colleges (in Cambridge, Bradford, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Stourbridge, Rother Valley and Evesham) went out on strike last Thursday.

NATFHE members in the colleges who have refused to implement the deal are also angry that their employers have been attacking staffing levels and working conditions.

In Cambridge, for example, pickets were out in force at both sites of the Cambridge Regional College (CRC), a college where management considers education to be a business - albeit one which its runs particularly inefficiently - and where management also has a record of introducing successive restructurings and waves of redundancies.

NATFHE members who have been on strike at Leicester College for four weeks suspended their strike action on 26 February and returned to work on Monday 1 March. An agreement has been reached between NATFHE and the College to continue negotiations on a revised contract of employment.

By a NATFHE member

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